I can’t say I’m much of a sailer. I had only been on a proper sailboat once before, until this “yacht race” near Sydney. I have always wondered about the concept of sailing, though. It always seemed to me as if you could only travel in the direction of the wind, but I learned that’s not true, and that to optimize a boat’s speed and direction there is quite a bit of math and ingenuity involved. I’m sure it seems very simple to all you sailors out there, but hey – it was news to me! I’m more of the build-my-own-engine-to-my-exact-specifications-then-get-there-as-fast-as-possible type.

I had the good fortune of being part of a large group of sailing newbies who got on six different sailboats and proceeded to race each other under the instruction of their vessel’s more experienced captain. Darkening skies, pouring rain, swinging booms…all things considered it went pretty well. And being one of the younger ones in my group, I got to do most of the rope tightening and fast work that needed to be done when we were spinning around buoys at a cool 6 knots. Things seem to move a lot faster when you’re on the water with waves crashing and rain trying to soak you were you stand.

At the time of this picture, we were trying to travel in a straight line but the wind was blowing in such a direction that we had to lean the boat at what felt like a 45 degree angle in order to do so. Definitely the coolest part of sailing is when half the boat hangs out of the water and everyone leans to one side to keep the thing from tipping over. I leaned up against the edge of the boat closest to the water and reached my hand out to skim the water as it splashed up the yacht’s port side…grabbed my camera, and hung on.